Joseph Kellman
{ "" }
Share Joseph's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Kellman, Joseph 90; A Legend in Chicago Business and Chicago Philanthropy. Joe Kellman, a titan of the Chicago business community and a lifelong advocate for children and families in the North Lawndale community, died peacefully on Thursday, January 7, 2010, at his home in Texas. He passed away on his 90th birthday surrounded by his loving wife and family. Upon retirement in 2001, he and his wife LouAnne moved to Southern California, where they were residing at the time of his death. Joe Kellman was born on January 7, 1920, and grew in the North Lawndale community of Chicago. In the 9th grade, Joe was forced to drop out of school to work in his father's glass shop. After his father's death, he and his brother Morrie assumed ownership of the glass business until they dissolved their partnership in 1950. Morrie took over the manufacturing division, while Joe took over two small retail glass shops. Over the next 45 years, the shops grew into The Globe Group, the nation's largest privately owned auto glass replacement company. In 1999, Joe sold the company to Belron International. Joe's achievements in business were rivaled only by his charitable endeavors. He vowed never to forget his early beginnings, and he committed himself to serving youth and their families in the North Lawndale community. Because of Joe's interest in the sport of boxing, he founded the Archie Moore Gym in 1961 at 1512 South Pulaski in North Lawndale as an after-school boxing club for boys. Shortly after opening the gym, Joe realized that sports alone could not change the direction of a young person's life. He was often heard to say that "sports are a lure, not a cure." Boxing, while positive in its focus on discipline and physical skills development, did little to improve long-term life outcomes for youth in the community. In the mid 1960s, Joe, with the help of long-time friend and entertainer Buddy Hackett, transitioned the Archie Moore Gym into the Better Boys Foundation (BBF). BBF grew into a multi-faceted youth development agency through the creation and delivery of innovative programming that grew and evolved to meet the needs of the North Lawndale community. Even during times of great racial conflicts in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the community showed its trust in Joe's commitment to North Lawndale by electing him president of the Greater North Lawndale Conservation Commission, a community organization. Joe also fostered strategic fundraising alliances with area businesses that supported well-known events such as the NFL Player's Association Mackey Awards Dinner. Today, BBF serves some 800 boys and girls each year through licensed child welfare services and innovative out-of-school time programs. The agency's college scholarship program alone currently supports nearly 40 North Lawndale students in colleges, universities and vocational programs throughout the country. BBF operates out of a 30,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility designed to allow each child who enters its doors to visualize a broader world and brighter future. The BBF Center was financed by the Joseph Kellman Family Foundation specifically for BBF and the children it serves. The new BBF Center opened in 2008 and represents Joe Kellman's 50-year commitment to the North Lawndale community. In 1988, Joe co-founded with corporate peers Vernon Loucks, Jr., the Chairman and CEO of Baxter International, and Fred Turner, the Chairman and CEO of McDonalds, the Corporate/Community Schools of America (C/CSA) on the west side of Chicago, the country's first corporate-sponsored school. A long-time advocate for public school reform, Joe's personal philosophy was that the failure of public education was the fault of the system, not of the child. His intent with C/CSA was to prove that the efficacy of common business practices could be applied to public schools to improve learning, even in the most underperforming schools. His experiment was successful. The Joseph Kellman Corporate/Community School in North Lawndale is now one of Chicago Public Schools' top performing elementary schools. Joe's work been recognized nationwide and earned him feature coverage in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Wall Street Journal, Ebony Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Forbes Magazine, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, the CBS Evening News and ABC's 2020. His numerous awards and honors include an honorary PhD from National Lewis University; the first Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year Award given by Inc. Magazine, Ernst & Young, and Merrill, Lynch & Co.; the Raoul Wallenberg Award; a special award given by Parent Magazine; the national Glass Association's Community Service Award; Loyola University's Civic Award; and the American Red Cross Hero Award. In addition, he served on numerous charitable boards, community commissions, and business associations, including as the Greater Lawndale Conservation Commission (past President), the Illinois Racing Board (past Commissioner), Special Children's Charities, Business and Professional People in the Public Interest, and the National Glass Association/Auto Glass Industry Council. Along with his successful career in the glass business, his advocacy of and investment in the improvement of public education, and his passion for changing the direction of the lives of children in North Lawndale, Joe Kellman also bred his own racehorses and promoted every major boxing event in the city of Chicago over a 20 year period with his friend and partner Ben Bentley. His premiere racehorse was the famous Shecky Greene, a sprinter that went on to gain international fame by winning the Eclipse Award as 1973 Sprint Champion, the same year he ran in the Kentucky Derby and set the pace for Secretariat in his record run. Joe Kellman lived a long and fulfilling life that he shared fully with his family, friends, and those in need of a helping hand. Joe was predeceased by his daughter, Celia (Cissy). He is survived by his wife, LouAnne; his son, Jack Kellman and his wife Monique; his son Richard Kellman and his wife Lisa; his stepson Bill Suggs; his stepson Bruce Suggs and his wife Jeanne Cheng; his grandchildren Robert Saxner, Cindy DeMaio, Allison Cantrell, Colette Kellman, Jake Kellman, Olivia Kellman, Stephanie Kellman, Suzannah Suggs, and Kye Suggs; and his great-grandchildren Jaclyn DeMaio, Dylan DeMaio, Brooke DeMaio, Owen Saxner, and Maeve Saxner. Joe Kellman will be remembered always as a man of exceptional integrity who was committed to equity of opportunity for all people. A public visitation will be held Thursday, January 14, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the Better Boys Foundation, 1512 South Pulaski Road in Chicago, Illinois. Valet parking will be provided. A private burial service has also been planned. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Better Boys Foundation, 1512 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois, 60623.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times from Jan. 11 to Jan. 15, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by anonymous
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
50 entries
January 4, 2020
You would have been 100 now, miss you, we are keeping your memory alive on a family FB page, and hope you have met up with the souls of all of the others who have passed away. Thanks again for being part of our lives and doing it your way! Jan. 7, 2020
Martha Backer
February 24, 2016
I just sent you a letter and forgot to include my e-mail address.
Kathy Krack

Thanks again. We were both very lucky to have great Dads.
February 24, 2016
Feb.24, 2016

Hello to the family of Joseph Kellman. My very belated condolences on the passing of you father. My name is Kathy Rasi Krack and I've been doing my families ancestry for 4 years now. I was thrilled to discover that my father, Frank M. Rasi worked for your Dad at Globe. What really excited me was finding a patent in both their names for the window regulator. I went back to his resume and it states there are 4 more patents. I have tried for days to find them without any luck. I was thinking that maybe there would be some mention of them in you Dads business accomplishments. He worked with your Dad from 9/15/48 to 8/8/53 at both plants. I remember meeting my Dad at the plant before going to the Sport Show. Your Dad even shook my hand. I am so glad these 2 kind, giving men were friends. I greatly appreciate any help you can give me.
Kathy Krack
November 2, 2012
Hello, Jackie
I saw that your dad had passed away 2 years too late, but please accept my heartfelt condolences on his passing. I'm not sure you remember me, but I'm sure you remember Rich Dzingel. Richard always told me that your dad treated him like another son, and you treated him as another brother. Before Richard passed away and during his final days, I remember that my front door bell rang and your dad had sent me the biggest flower arrangement I think I ever saw as a thank you for taking care of Richard in has final days. At the wake, he walked up to me and, although I had never met him personally, he put his arms around me and just held me, and the warmth and comfort I felt coming from him was undescribable. I wish I could have spoken to him one more time before his passing because I've thought of him often over the years. Blessings on you and your whole family.

Marisa Lord (Maselli)
August 1, 2012
To the Kellman Family, condolences to all. Joe Kellman is now with the person he loved. Met him through my husband LAW.
Rosemarie Weitzman
June 26, 2011
Belated condolences to a great man. It's been a year and a half since his passing but I've been living outside the US for many years now and I'm only just getting the news.

I worked for Joe and his family from 1986 into the 90s when the Globe Glass Company moved from Fullerton Av. to downtown Chicago. He was a wonderful person.

I remember years ago picking Joe up from the airport after he had open heart surgery to fix a malfunctioning valve. I thought to myself what a strong man to come back from such an operation and pick up where he left off. Never missed a beat!

You are missed Joe.
Stephan/Steve Turner
February 24, 2011
I had the great opportunity to work with the Kellman Foundation and the BBB through the efforts of Linda Weikers. I found that Mr. Kellman was a one in a trillion when it came to service the good of the under privilaged. The chance to provide services for his foundation has server me through the years after.......Tim Lally
Tim Lally
October 17, 2010
I am a former student of Joseph Kellman School and i want to thank him for everything he did for me.
Diamond Jackson
September 7, 2010
God Bless Mr.Kellman, My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the whole family. They do not make them like Joe anymore. I live on the East coast so i only recently found out. Truly one of the most honest,straight forward men i've i ever met. He always treated me fairly. A great listener and story teller. Just a Great Great MAN. John Abraham (cindy's old boyfriend 80s-90s)
John Abraham
June 9, 2010
Hello, My name is Khalilah Maddox. I am so sorry about Joseph Kellman passing. I never knew him but I heard a lot of great things about him. I researched him on the internet and found out so many things about him. My daughter, Bakia Johnson attends Joseph Kellman Corporate Community School on the west side of Chicago and she was devasted when she heard about the news. I just would like to keep his family in my prayers. I would also like to thank Joseph Kellman for giving my daughter an excellent education. Not to many people that comes from low income families or live in bad neighborhoods can say that their children attended a school that cares about their kids and the level of teaching was higher than normal. My daughter is graduating 8th grade this year and I am sad to see her go from a great and wonderful School. If I could have met Joseph Kellman, the first thing I would have did is gave him a hug and tell him 'he is one of the greatest men that I ever knew and thank you for everything'.
Khalilah Maddox
March 17, 2010
January 27, 2010
Jack, So sorry to hear about your father's passing. My father spoke highly of him. I remember how charming he was.

Susan Penn Shaf
January 22, 2010

I was unaware of all the wonderful things your father had done for the youth of Chicago - may it continue in his honor. My hearfelt sympathy to you and your family.
Katie McVicker
January 20, 2010
Was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing and being unable to give my condolances
personally to the family. He was a stellar personality with a fabulous sense of humor and a generous spirit.My
sympathies to all his family.
Peg Lombardo
January 18, 2010
Hi Jackie,
My deepest condolences to you and your entire family on your tremendous loss. I so vividly remember sitting around my mother's diningroom table with Uncle Joe, Uncle Charlie, the Blumenfelds, the Blumins, the Schaffers and the Corenblums, laughing till we cried. One time, he hid my mother's Turkey on Thanksgiving, and she couldn't find it when she was ready to serve. We were one big Florida family and we loved your Dad, sooo much. We will miss him, but will never forget him and the joy and teachings that he brought us on his Miami visits. Love and sympathy to all, Ellen
Ellen Osman
January 16, 2010
I was so sorry to hear about your father.I can still remember all the great Buddy Hackett stories you told all of us. My sincerest condolences to you and your entire family.
Lynne Holzman
January 16, 2010

Our deepest condolences to you and your family. I'm glad to have had chance to know Joe and be a part of the Globe Family.

John Pullano, Orlando, FL
January 16, 2010
LouAnne, Jack, Rick and all,
In Uncle Joe's extraordinary life, he touched the hearts of many and left the world a better place. Can't ask for more than that.....
My heartfelt condolences
Robbi Lewin Diem
January 16, 2010
I met my husband (EX) while working at Globe Glass 1971-73. Everyone seemed so afraid of Joe, but I thought he was a very kind gentleman. I'm glad he had such a long and happy life. Now he can see his horse again. My condolences to the family.
Cathy Fabin (Johnson)
Cathy Fabin(Johnson)
January 15, 2010
My sincere sympathies to the entire Kellman family. I grew up hearing the names of Morrie and Joseph Kellman as my father worked for Globe Glass from 1952 thru 1974. I met him as a small child and he was always a 'larger than life figure' to me since he was my father's boss. Our home always had glass and mirrors in it, and I still have some of those pieces in my home today.
God Bless, Mr Kellman!
Carol Budz
January 15, 2010
Lou Anne and Family,
I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Kellman. Though I did not have an opportunity to know him well or work directly with him, from talking with people and hearing about all of his great work, his humor and his compassion for others, it is evident to me that his spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of all those he helped and encouraged throughout his wonderful life. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Cindy Weis - Chicago, IL
Cindy Weis
January 15, 2010
And left a GREAT GIFT
January 15, 2010
HI Jackie...I often wondered what I would say to you when this day came to pass. Joe was my toughest critic and my biggest booster at a time when I was just learning how to be a man.
He opened doors for me that were unheard of for young men like myself in a time when color mattered more than competence. I learned the art of speech writing and public speaking under Joe's demanding mentoring. Those skills have served me well.
Who could forget the back of that ever present envelope. His scribbled notes seemed to always record something you and I had forgotten to do.
But ever so often he would show the tender side. Like the day we brought Baby Ricky home from the hospital. He was beaming with pride but the jokes were still flying among us.

He told me once,,"Always throw the right cross over the other guy's left jab in the ring and in life".

Best Wishes to the rest of the family,

warner saunders
January 14, 2010
Cindy Saxner Demaio: I know Papa Joe was a father to you, not just a grandfather. He always did things "his way"! May he watch over you from Heaven as he always did in Chicago! ILU, BFF...Cindy#2
Cindy Laser
January 14, 2010
Lou Anne and Family, Please accept my heartfelt condolences. His obit was beautifully written and brings back so many fond memories! Thanks to Mr. Kellman, I have never had a weight issue since he told me I looked fat in a certain skirt while visiting from college!! Love to ALL of you!!! Thanks for sharing him with the rest of us. xoxo Roberta (Lazar) Hansen and Family
January 14, 2010
Mrs. Kellman & Family please except my heartfelt condolences. It gives me great pleasure and makes me proud to be part of the dream of such an auspicious man. One of your faithful employees.
Marie Beasley
January 14, 2010
Joseph Kellman a loving hardworking legend who cared enough to give so many african american children in the lawndale community an equal opportunity to a beautiful education. You will be missed.
Brenda Peoples, Pre-school teacher at Joseph Kellman School - Chicago
Brenda Peoples
January 14, 2010
With Heart felt sympathy to the Kellman family, Mr. Kellman was one of a kind, and as many others remember his song "I did it My way" he did and enjoyed every minute, GOOD BY MY FRIEND.
George Mizia
January 14, 2010
Dearest Jack and Monique, We hope you find comfort in knowing how special your Father was to so many people. He will live in your hearts forever. We love you.
David and Rose Lloyd
January 14, 2010
Heart felt sympathy and appreciation for a life well lived and a job well done. Joseph Kellman leaves us an incredible legacy of community service. May the family find peace and comfort in knowing that the community will long appreciate the many programs and services he has left our children and youth.

Smith Family of Tripp Avenue
Clara Smith
January 13, 2010
Mrs. Kellman & Family,
Please accept our condolences. After reading the obituary, we wish we could have known Joe. I hope you'll find comfort in the legacy he left and all the wonderous things he was able to achieve and that he lived a long life.

Michaela's family from Romania
January 13, 2010
Mrs. Kellman & Family,
Please accept our condolences.After reading the obituary, we wish we could have known Joe.I hope you'll find comfort in the legacy he left and all the wonderous things he was able to achieve and that he lived a long life.Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Michaela's family from Romania
Calin Sebastian
January 13, 2010
To the Kellman Family. I would like to extend my sincere condolences. While I never met Mr. Kellman personally,I thank God for his vision and generosity for our school and the North Lawndale community. Delicia Brady (Kellman School staff)
January 13, 2010
Mrs. Kellman & Family... I am the Reading Specialist at the Kellman Corporate Community School and I was very saddened to hear that Mr. Kellman had passed away. While I never had the personal pleasure of meeting Mr. Kellman, I have heard of his passion for "our" students and all children; and his benevolent acts won't soon be forgotten in the hearts of our children, administrators, and staff. God Bless you and keep you in your time of sorrow!
Patricia McFall, Reading Specialist @ Kellman School
January 13, 2010
To the Kellman Family. I would like to extend my sincere condolences. While I never met Mr. Kellman personally,I thank God for his vision and generosity for our school and the North Lawndale community. Delicia Brady (Kellman School staff)
Delicia Brady
January 13, 2010
Mrs. Kellman & Family... I am the Reading Specialist at the Kellman Corporate Community School and I was very saddened to hear that Mr. Kellman had passed away. While I never had the personal pleasure of meeting Mr. Kellman, I have heard of his passion for "our" students and all children; and his benevolent acts won't soon be forgotten in the hearts of our children, administrators, and staff. God Bless you and keep you in your time of sorrow!
Patricia McFall, Reading Specialist @ Kellman School
January 13, 2010
To the Kellman family.
I would like to take this time to thank god for sending such a heavy-hearted angel to the North Lawndale Community. I've lived in the community all my life and never had the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Better Boys Foundation. I currently have 3 children attending the center and if if wasn't for Joe, I have no idea what would have become of my children. Thank you God for allowing this wonderful angel to be part of North Lawndale Community.

Our prayers goes out to your family.

The Smith and Minaird Family,
Joe Minaird,
Jazlynn,Justin,Anissa, Steve, Lucille, and Eugene Smith
Anissa Smith
January 13, 2010
Dear Jack & Family, Saddened to hear about your father. He was a role model and a man to look up to for all of us from the old neighborhood.
Arnie Wulfstat
January 12, 2010
Facebook in heaven? I don't know for sure Joe , but if and when this note and our prayers reach you , I just wanna say goodby and thanks for being "hard but fair" steven(miami)
steven kaplan
January 12, 2010
To LouAnne and the rest of the Kellman family we extend our sincere condolences. Joe was the true meaning of the word "gentleman" who made everyone he met fall under his spell. His good works will live on and serve as testament to a life well lived. We feel fortunate to have known him and to have experienced his generosity. He will certainly be missed.
Jonathan, Matthew and Jackie Brandstein
Jackie Brandstein
January 12, 2010
Please accept our condolences. We will always have fond memories of Uncle Joe.

Marc Stahl and Ellen Ahern, Jeff and Noreen Stahl, and Traci and Oren Arieli
January 12, 2010
To Jack & Ricki
My condolences to both of you & your families. I know he will be missed, just hold on to the memories which keeps you going.
Barb (Red) Fine
Barbara Fine
January 12, 2010
To Lou Anne and the Kellman Family:

May God comfort you during this time in your life. My prayers are with each of you. Take care, God Bless and KEEP THE FAITH!
Hon. Darron Bowden
January 12, 2010
To me he will always be Uncle Joe.
Again my condolences to the whole
Kellman family.
Judy Lewin
January 12, 2010
My condolences to the Kellman family. It was my pleasure and honor to work for Mr. Kellman at Ttler & Hippach Glass. The family will be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.
Bill Swanberg
January 12, 2010
Lou Anne, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family on the passing of Mr. Kellman.

"Life should not be a methodical journey to the grave with the goal being sure, safe arrival in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, flute of champagne in hand, screaming "What a Ride!"

May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.
Carol Weil (BBF Staff, 1983-91)
January 12, 2010
Jack and family
Sorry for your loss my old friend.The thing I remember most about your dad was his great sense of humor.
Love,Davy Stein
David Stein
January 11, 2010
Dear Lou Anne,
I am so proud to have known Joe and to have celebrated many of his memorable birthdays with him.
He was always special to me and most assuredly to Len (Sacks). Perhaps they will reunite in heaven.
My heartfelt sympathy to you and the entire family.
Love and blessings,
Dorothy Steinmetz
January 11, 2010
The Ron Burns family of New Braunfes, Texas want to offer our sincere condolences to the entire Kellman family. I have so many fond memories of working for Globe/U.S. Auto Glass over the years, and still miss the Kellman family. May GOD bless you in the days ahead.

Ron Burns Family
Ron Burns
January 11, 2010

My deepest condolences to you and your family. Your dad give me my start in the auto glass business.

Chuck Bibbiano
Chuck Bibbiano
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences